The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting 14 deaths on Ohio roadways over the 2017 Memorial Day weekend. In 2016, 15 fatalities occurred, and 16 occurred in 2015. One of this year’s fatalities was a motorcyclist, and seven were pedestrians. Of the six vehicular accidents, four victims were not wearing seatbelts, and the other two did not have them installed or it was not known if they were used. The four-day reporting period began Friday, May 26 and ran through Monday, May 29.
The Patrol made 33,548 enforcement contacts in total. These contacts resulted in 801 OVI arrests, an increase of eight percent from 2016; 554 drug arrests, an increase of 26 percent from 2016; and 7,846 safety belt citations, an increase of nine percent from 2016.
“We take enforcing traffic laws seriously, and troopers were highly visible this weekend to respond to the heavy Memorial Day traffic,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “We thank everyone who slowed down, buckled up and designated sober drivers this weekend. We ask that you do the same every time you get behind the wheel.”
In addition, the Patrol made 17,541 non-enforcement contacts to assist motorists. Of the total 51,304 enforcement and non-enforcement incidents, 1,026 took place in Richland County.
In addition, the Ohio State Highway Patrol made 9,533 seat belt citations in a joint effort with other members of the 6-State Trooper Project in an initiative from Monday, May 22 to Monday, May 29. The 6-State Trooper Project includes the Indiana State Police, Kentucky State Police, Michigan State Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Pennsylvania State Police and the West Virginia State Police.